Regulatory burden piles up for charities due to Abbott's uncertainty - Media Release

REGULATORY BURDEN PILES UP FOR CHARITIES THANKS TO ABBOTT’S UNCERTAINTY

If the Abbott Government is serious about cutting unnecessary regulation, it must commit to keeping the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission open permanently.

In Senate Estimates this morning, Charities Commissioner Susan Pascoe said the uncertainty about the commission’s future is creating confusion for Australian businesses and consumers. It is also holding up progress on streamlining charity laws.

ASIC has stopped updating information about charitable companies on its Business Register, but has so far failed to provide even a web link to the new Australian Charity Register.

This means Australian consumers and companies looking for information about charities through ASIC are being left at a dead end.

Commissioner Pascoe said the commission has repeatedly faced hurdles like this, noting: 

“We’ve found a reluctance with a number of agencies to effect even simple changes because they think we won’t be around.” Senate Estimates, 2 June 2015

Commissioner Pascoe also told the committee that the uncertainty has stalled negotiations with the states and territories on harmonising charity laws.

“One of the goals in the establishment of the ACNC was harmonisation across the jurisdictions... there is a considerable appetite for harmonisation, given our discussions…there’s no doubt that the uncertainty puts a brake on those kinds of activities.” Senate Estimates, 2 June 2015

Streamlining charity laws would let not-for-profits spend less time filling in paperwork and more time doing what they do best: helping the Australian community.

Abbott Government ministers have styled themselves as slashers of regulation. Yet they are refusing to do the one thing that could make a real difference in the not-for-profit sector.

The smoke signals sent by Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg about the commission’s future are not enough.

If the Abbott Government is serious about reducing regulation, it must now commit to keeping the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission open permanently.

TUESDAY, 2 JUNE 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856


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